You’d think life would get easier as one gets older. As I am learning, if anything, it gets more and more complicated each day. It seems that just as I learn yet one more answer, a dozen more questions leap into existence to challenge my right to say I am becoming wiser as I get older. At this rate, by the time I am seventy-five I will effectively be a dunce. What a difference from my youth when I believed myself to be smarter than parents and everyone else that I knew at that time. Not only I believed that to be the truth, but so did all that knew me. And then began the painful process of growing up and growing with awareness that every single truth that I knew was a fiction.
It’s like wearing clothing. We see ourselves in one set of clothing and believe we have discovered the truth of who we are. Then with a change in fashions, we find another set of clothing that redefines who we are and we swell with pride at this new discovery. We wear costumes and uniforms to match our careers and social standing in our communities building a belief system that our uniqueness is somehow tied into those uniforms and costumes. Yet when we dare to look in the mirror, we know that these truths are lies, lies we have told ourselves.
We finally, perhaps, will look at our bodies and know that it has all been a foolish game. We are aghast at what we see and rush to diets, fitness regimes, tattoo parlors, tanning salons, get body waxes, and invest in a makeover of monumental dimensions hoping to convince ourselves and others that we are worth something. Yet, there is something that lurks beneath the skin that looks at us, challenges us to look back and recognize the shadow side of ourselves, shadows that are filled with as much light as with darkness. All else has been an illusion.